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Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: December 7th, 2018, 1:53 am
by bcpid
This is for those of you that have come up since the depression/recession that started in '08/09. I get the sense that many of you have been getting taken advantage of once you begin your careers, and that is wrong.

16 - Design is not a calling. There is nothing particularly noble about creating value for billion dollar brands, though some will try to convince you of this and use it as a tool to persuade you to accept lower wages and longer hours for the complex and demanding work that drives those brands' profit. The seriousness of this enterprise is directly proportional to how much they are willing to pay for your services. Reject weak offers, and be a mercenary for You Inc. because no one else is going to do that job for you. And remember, you can always quit. ;)

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: December 10th, 2018, 11:50 pm
by joynhappiness
Have fun in what you do will always be the key to success. Thank you for sharing this with us, I can say that your post gave me the motivation to love what I do in life.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 3rd, 2019, 12:04 am
by Eugenio_Cast
I have just finished my Bachelor´s degree in Industrial Design and I am on kind of a professional crisis...I felt really connected with what you wrote, I am afraid of getting a job outside design, but jobs at my country doesn´t seem to go too much for design...If I choose what puts food on the table instead of Design does that means quitting?

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 3rd, 2019, 1:26 pm
by PackageID
bcpid wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 1:53 am
This is for those of you that have come up since the depression/recession that started in '08/09. I get the sense that many of you have been getting taken advantage of once you begin your careers, and that is wrong.

16 - Design is not a calling. There is nothing particularly noble about creating value for billion dollar brands, though some will try to convince you of this and use it as a tool to persuade you to accept lower wages and longer hours for the complex and demanding work that drives those brands' profit. The seriousness of this enterprise is directly proportional to how much they are willing to pay for your services. Reject weak offers, and be a mercenary for You Inc. because no one else is going to do that job for you. And remember, you can always quit. ;)
Having the attitude that you can always quit is not a good attitude to have and will not lead to success. If you are going in with that attitude then you have already decide that design is not for you and you should save your money.

Also I have worked on billion dollar brands my whole career and have been paid very well while doing it. Large brands in corporate companies is generally where good pay, flexibility, and balance lies in the design world. Also as an in-house designer, it is generally where you will have control over what hits the shelf and can make an impact on what consumers buy, how the product effects the environment and the mission of those big brands.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with working on smaller brands or being a consultant. Both are very lucrative career paths that one should evaluate when finding their first design job.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 3rd, 2019, 3:09 pm
by PackageID
Eugenio_Cast wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 12:04 am
I have just finished my Bachelor´s degree in Industrial Design and I am on kind of a professional crisis...I felt really connected with what you wrote, I am afraid of getting a job outside design, but jobs at my country doesn´t seem to go too much for design...If I choose what puts food on the table instead of Design does that means quitting?
Give us a bit more information. Where are you living? What other jobs are you looking into? What about ID excites you?

In the end you need to do what you need to do to put food on the table. That is priority number one. Without knowing what other jobs your are considering I can't tell you if it may be taking you too far away from design that it will effect your career but what I would tell you is to look at companies that may give you complimentary skills. Skills like sales experience, manufacturing experience, marketing experience, etc.... Also look at taking on some freelance work. This will help to keep your skills fresh and allow you to learn while you look for a full time gig.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 4th, 2019, 5:23 am
by Mrog
PackageID wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 1:26 pm
Having the attitude that you can always quit is not a good attitude to have and will not lead to success. If you are going in with that attitude then you have already decide that design is not for you and you should save your money.
I am with bcpid on this one. What has that to do if "design is for you" or not? You provide value for brands. They should provide you with money. If they don't adequatly: quit.
If you can provide the right value you should agressively insist on getting paid for that value. Like everybody else in every other industry is insisting to be compensated fairly. What software developer or engineer works for pocket money because he likes his job and considers it his calling? Probably none. Then why do designers do this?
You especially see it in consultancies leeching of young designers who are getting "paid" in being "allowed" to work for big brands. Mostly they just don't know their own value. If they would push a little harder they would be surprised how much more they would be paid. Something many designers need to understand: Design is a job like any other job, even if you think it is not - it is.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 4th, 2019, 3:41 pm
by PackageID
If they would push a little harder they would be surprised how much more they would be paid.

This is the key phrase. You control your career. No one else. Realizing you are not getting paid enough and actively seeking out a resolution or a new opportunity is a lot different then having the mindset that you can just quit. Being proactive and solving your problems is the opposite of quitting. Starting something new and saying "If it doesn't work out I can just quit", to me means you are not completely in it and frankly is an attitude I would not want on my team.

I have never believed in the word quit, and believe that it always leads to a negative outcome.

J

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 5th, 2019, 6:55 am
by Mrog
I think you think of "quitting" as "giving up". Which has nothing necessarily to do with each other. Quitting a job is probably one of the most powerful career advancement tools you have as an employee. Your possibility to quit anytime is the single biggest leverage you have against your employer. If you are good at what you do and can't be replaced within a week your employer should dread the moment you hand in your resignation. Because that will make him give you raises and promote you. But for this to work "quitting" can't be an empty thread. If you become that person that never quits his/her job your career will stall at some point. It's just a matter of time.
All my major pay bumps and career advancements happened because I quit a job and started in a new one that I felt was more appropriate for myself. Also quitting a job has nothing to with burning bridges or "not being 100% in it". It's just a way to move on and up.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 5th, 2019, 1:36 pm
by yo
Mrog, as I interpreted it, I think that was Justin’s original point. Maybe I miss interpreted it.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 5th, 2019, 2:45 pm
by PackageID
yo wrote:
January 5th, 2019, 1:36 pm
Mrog, as I interpreted it, I think that was Justin’s original point. Maybe I miss interpreted it.
Yes it was. 😀

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 8th, 2019, 1:23 pm
by bcpid
The intent of "you can always quit" originated in a post on another thread, in which a young designer was being paid like $35k in a coastal city - aka being paid less than minimum wage in a big city once you consider that most coastal cities are pushing $15/hr min wage and a lot of young designers are expected to put in pretty long hours. Which is inexcusable. And those designers should use quitting as leverage, and if they still don't get what they want financially, they should quit first and find a new gig later. No one should tolerate that kind of exploitation. New engineers that work in product development aren't being offered $35k, and they aren't fed nonsense like they're "changing the world" or that their career is a "calling." Design is a job, you bill for your time. You are a lawyer with spatial problem solving skills. Charge accordingly. Demand pay on par with all the other product development stakeholders. Accept nothing less. Giving up = letting someone take advantage of your work for low pay.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 11th, 2019, 12:32 pm
by yo
I think the quit first and find a new gig later thing is a bit of a personal preference. some people do better with that cold turkey, walk out the door style. In my experience I've always been better about finding a job when I have a job. But I like to be truthful. I have told past bosses that a situation is not sustainable for me and it will lead to me leaving if there isn't change. With this fair shot across the bow I then spool down a bit, enforcing more strict boundaries on my time and emotional commitment to the job so I can use that extra time and energy to get after finding a new position. Then when I leave I reference the previous conversation, "remember 6 months ago when I said this particular thing would lead to me leaving? That time has come unfortunately..." or something like that.

However you do it, make sure it is authentic to you.

Re: 15 pieces of advice for young designers

Posted: January 14th, 2019, 12:11 pm
by PackageID
yo wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 12:32 pm
I think the quit first and find a new gig later thing is a bit of a personal preference. some people do better with that cold turkey, walk out the door style. In my experience I've always been better about finding a job when I have a job. But I like to be truthful. I have told past bosses that a situation is not sustainable for me and it will lead to me leaving if there isn't change. With this fair shot across the bow I then spool down a bit, enforcing more strict boundaries on my time and emotional commitment to the job so I can use that extra time and energy to get after finding a new position. Then when I leave I reference the previous conversation, "remember 6 months ago when I said this particular thing would lead to me leaving? That time has come unfortunately..." or something like that.

However you do it, make sure it is authentic to you.
I agree. I have also always been in the camp of finding something while I have something. I find that while I am looking for a new gig it makes me evaluate what I am really looking for and what isn't currently working. There are always going to be bad days so make sure you are not making emotional rash decisions.

Also sometime hard situations help you grow. I always evaluate them to see if there is opportunity to be had before jumping ship. Example: I recently changed categories moving from consumer products into financial services. There is no design. There is no understanding of design. There is a eagerness to learn, but everything has to be built. That sounds exciting but it is HARD work. Everyone in the organization has to be educated. All supplies and tools need to be purchased, which means getting crazy and ridiculous approvals for things as simple as post-it notes. Even our environment for working needs to be created. There are days I go home and say to myself "WTF, I don't know if I can keep doing this". But I keep going because if it works out, it will be huge. If I get to a point that I don't think it is going to get there, well it will be time to make some decisions.

As far as not getting paid enough.... You signed an offer letter and made that decision. Yes I agree you should be getting paid what you are worth but as designers, we should also stop accepting jobs that pay shit.